While unveiling the eight key focus areas of the foreign policy of the Joe Biden administration, the United States Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Wednesday said that China was the only country having the economic, diplomatic, military and technological capability to seriously challenge the stable and open international system.
The US-China relationship is the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century: Blinken
Describing the US-China relationship as the ‘biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century’, Blinken said that the US faced challenges in its relationship with several countries but challenges posed by China were different. “We will manage the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century, our relationship with China. Several countries present us with serious challenges including Russia, Iran, North Korea and there are serious crises we have to deal with, including in Yemen, Ethiopia and Burma. But the challenges posed by China are different”, Blinken was quoted as saying. “Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be and adversarial when it must be”, he added.
Blinken said that in order to deal with China, the US required to work with allies and partners. “The common denominator is the need to engage with China from a position of strength. That requires working with allies and partners, not denigrating the. Because our combined weight is much harder for China to ignore”, he said. He said that the US needed to engage in diplomacy and in international organisations because China has filled in wherever the US has withdrawn.
Blinken highlights Chinese atrocities on Uyghur Muslims
Pointing at the atrocities being carried out by China on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, Blinken said that the US required to stand up for its values. “It requires standing up for our values when human rights are abused in Xinjiang or when democracy is trampled in Hong Kong. Because if we don’t, China will act with even greater impunity. And it means investing in American workers, companies, and technologies. And insisting on a level playing field because when we do, we can out-compete anyone”, Blinken asserted.
The US required to push back against unfair trade practices of China: Blinken
The US Secretary of State called for pushing back against unfair trading practices of China and others along with making the right investments in order to win in the global economy. “More than at any other time in my career, maybe in my lifetime, distinctions between domestic and foreign policy have simply fallen away. Our domestics renewal and our strength in the world are completely entwined, and how we work will reflect that reality. And finally, as the President has promised diplomacy, not military action, will always come first”, he said.
In his foreign policy address, the US President Joe Biden had termed China as the ‘most serious competitor’ to the US and had vowed to confront Beijing on various fronts, including human rights, intellectual property and economic policy.